One of the big problems with contemporary policy debates is that many of the most important issues we face are technical, complicated and definitely not sexy. A disproportionate number of environmental issues fall into that category.
But just because an issue isn’t easy doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a significant impact on our everyday lives. That’s why everyone who lives in Central Indiana and has the time should plan to attend Greening the Statehouse, Indiana’s largest annual gathering of environmental advocates, on Saturday, November 14th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the University of Indianapolis.
Greening the Statehouse will be keynoted this year by Lisa Evans; I’m told she is America’s most influential advocate for coal ash protections. According to the Hoosier Environmental Council,
Coal ash has special significance for Indiana, since the state leads the nation in the number of coal ash waste lagoons. There is arguably no person better in America to speak to this issue than Lisa Evans. As a coal ash expert with twenty-five years of experience in hazardous waste law, Lisa has testified before the U.S. Congress and the National Academies of Science about the risks of coal ash and federal & state policy solutions.
“Lisa Evans will be an amazing keynote speaker: She is a formidable combination of intellect, knowledge, passion, and heart. We believe that hearts and minds will be changed by her remarks – so important for a state that must grapple with risks posed by having the largest number of coal ash lagoons in America,” said Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Greening the Statehouse will also be an opportunity to learn about other (not-so-sexy-but-really-important) environmental issues. Panels will tackle food systems, the quality of our rivers and lakes, and the economic impact of climate change. A former (very good!) student of mine will talk about the role of Chambers of Commerce in fostering environmental sustainability.
High profile panelists include ExactTarget co-founder and Tyner Pond owner Chris Baggott, Vice President of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Mark Fisher, and Purdue professor & nationally-respected water expert Dr. Jane Frankenberger.
Registration for Greening the Statehouse is $25 general admission and $10 for students. To register, visit hecweb.org/gts15. Lunch will be provided.
Breathable air, swimmable rivers, drinkable water….the things that make “sexy” possible.